Match 48
13th April 1974
Lincoln City (home)

EXETER CITY'S Easter egg turned sour at St. James'sPark this afternoon when they were beaten 1-0 in their Division IV game against Lincoln City. It was such a disappointment after yesterday's result at Bury, but Exeter were weak in front of goal, and again paid the penalty. Lincoln scored their winner in the 21st minute in front of a crowd of 3,687.

Wilson, Joy Hatch, Morrin, Giles, Clapham Blain. Binney. Bowker, Parker, Wingate.
Sub.: Gibson.

Kennedy, Branfoot, Leigh, Booth, Ellis, Cooper, Graham, Ward, McNeil, McGeough, Smith.
Sub.: Worsdale.

Referee: B. J. Homewood (Sunbury-on-Thames).

Exeter had to make one change from the side that drew at Bury yesterday. John Neale injured an ankle in that game, and Jimmy Blain came into the side to play in midfield. Lincoln were at full strength for their first Easter fixture, and included former Exeter player Dixie Dixie McNeil, their leading scorer with 18 goals this season. The referee, Mr. John Homewood, was the man who has been named to take charge of. the final of the F.A. Challenge Trophy at Wembley between Dartford and Fleetwood later this season. Exeter were immediately in their stride. Fine work by Binney set up a promising move when he played the ball wide to the overlapping Joy on the right. Joy crossed to the near post, and the ball was headed behind for a corner by Leigh. When Lincoln tried to move forward through a long ball by Leigh, there were two Exeter defenders watching McNeil and they cleared the danger. Twice Lincoln were caught offside in the opening minutes. Back came Exeter with another corner, this time from the right Parker's cross was headed away, but Exeter were awarded a free-kick for hand ball. Parker crossed again; Giles headed the ball across the area, and Wingate completely missed out. 

After eight minutes, Wilson saved Exeter. Following a cross by Smith from the left, McNeil turned superbly on the ball and hit a fierce shot which was brilliantly kept out by the diving Wilson. At the other end, Binney shot on the turn and was just too high with a good effort after a build-up involving Joy, Wingate and Bowker. In a quick break Graham beat two players down the the right, but he was stopped in time by Exeter. Giles was taking up advanced positions whenever Exeter had a free- kick or corner. From one such move, the big defender flighted a good cross towards the far post, but Wingate failed to make any impact.

There was a shock for Exeter in the 21st minute when Lincoln took the lead. Following a free kick, Ward headed the ball into the Exeter area and GRAHAM took his chance well to beat Wilson with a rising shot. From another Lincoln free kick, the Exeter defence looked anything but happy and Giles eventually cleared. Up went Giles again for an Exeter corner, but another City player was penalised and Lincoln were awarded a free kick inside their own six-yard area. Two minutes later. came another Exeter corner, and McNeil was back in his own area to head away Parker's cross for yet another corner. Good work by Morrin and Bowker almost produced an opening for Binney, but the way was blocked. Then Binney charged down a clearance by Kennedy, but the ball spun away and the Lincoln goal- keeper was able to retrieve the ball.

Too high 
Then Joy, who was continually overlapping, made a break through the middle, but he hoisted his shot far too high from 30 yards. From another Exeter free kick the ball was rolled to Clapham, and he hit a good shot from about the same distance which was not too far off the target. Following a Giles-Binney-Blain move, the latter hit a hard cross from the right. The ball penetrated Lincoln's defence as it went towards the far post where Wingate did not connect as he rose under pressure for a header. Everyone but Wilson and Hatch was in the Lincoln half for a throw-in, and from it Wingate powered in a good header, but Kennedy was behind the ball, Just before half-time, a long ball out of defence caught Lincoln napping and Binney was clear. He hesitated and Branfoot recovered to clear the danger. Exeter appealed that Binney had been pushed over in the area, but the referee had no hesitation in allowing the game to carry on.

Exeter City 0, Lincoln City 1,

Exeter were immediately awarded a free kick 10yd. inside the Lincoln area after McGeough had brought down Parker. Clapham lifted the ball into the Lincoln area, and it broke to Wingate, who volleyed well wide. A long clearance by Lincoln almost caught out the Exeter defence at Ward raced through the middle. The game was held up while Clapham had treatment, and at the other end Exeter were waiting to take a free kick after Binney had been obstructed. Booth had a severe lecture after a foul on Parker. From Hatch's free kick, Lincoln con- ceded a corner, but it produced no threat whatsoever to Lincoln. Exeter missed a chance of equalising in the 60th minute. Bowker, from the right, crossed to the near post, and Blain, moving forward, failed when in a good position. McNeil, who has been suffering from a knee injury in the last few weeks, went down for treatment in the 65th minute. He had been limping earlier in the game, but on this occasion it seemed as though he was having attention to a damaged ankle. Morrin dummied over the ball from a free kick and Wingate hit a fierce drive which was only just too high. In the 70th minute, Lincoln brought on substitute Worsdale for the limping McNeil.

Three minutes later Exeter made a substitution, bringing Gibson on for Bowker. Following a throw-in by Morrin, the Lincoln defence was put under some pressure, but they recovered as Exeter continued to look ineffective in front of goal.?Exeter were pushing forward and after two scrambles in the Lincoln area Parker hit a low shot from 20yd. which was taken by Kennedy. Exeter, however, were not really looking penetrating. Joy did well on the right to beat two men. He pulled the ball back for Morrin, but he was too slow to seize the opportunity when unmarked.




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